So you'd think with all the wind and rain and low pressure, yesterday would have been the better day - not so. Maybe I wasn't fishing in the right area or with the right baits, but for whatever reason, white bass were about the only thing that seemed to be biting. Today dawns clear and cold, with widespread frost warnings. Light breeze and mostly sunny skies - and the bite was a lot better than expected. Go figure.
Didn't actually fish for bass too terribly long today, but managed nearly a dozen including a 16", a 17.5" and this 19.25" fish, all on the Kahara micro jig/pig.
Surprisingly, the crappie bite was pretty good. They normally shut down after a front, but I landed 60 today up to 12".
Haven't got out much, but when I have, I've been catching quite a few fish, and several nice sized ones, just nothing big in the way of largemouth. Here's a few other nice fish though to look at.
Several nice crappie on Thursday afternoon over 12 inches. The fish on the bottom went 1.2 pounds.
A couple shots of a nearly 28" hybrid striped bass caught Saturday afternoon. Water was pretty clear with visibility to 3.5 feet, and surface water temps at 60 degrees.
Figured it out yet? The answer would be "crappie." OK, depending on where you live, it's also fine to call them "specks" or "papermouths" or even "sac-a-lait." But if you refer to them as 'crappie', don't be calling them "crappy" - LOL. I won't say exactly how this subject came about, but I will add that I researched it a bit since I'd never given much thought to the idea. After all, I've always pronounced it correctly :) But after consulting references from Merriam-Webster, The American Heritage Dictionary, Collins English Dictionary, and Random House, they were all unanimous in agreement as to the proper pronunciation without variation. Here are a few screen captures in that regard;
Clicking on any of the soundwave files that are included now days with online dictionaries will also give you the proper way to say "crappie". English has sometimes been referred to as a "messy" language, given weird exceptions and funny spellings. I guess 'crappie' might be one such example. The confusing part seems to be that "double p," which is where most people get led astray. However, a look at a few other words with similar spelling, which also look misleading, will follow the same 'logic' as crappie. For example;
At first glance, both of these would appear to have the first syllable pronounced as "crap," but you'll see that they are actually listed as 'kraep,' the same as 'crappie,' and which is pronounced "crop." Again, you can click on the soundwave files to hear this for yourself.
So that ends today's grammar lesson here at Big Indiana Bass - LOL. Don't get caught in public sounding like some hillybilly and mispronouncing your panfish species :)
Your best bet for finding crappie in the fall is to use jigs and drift along a drop off, fishing at different depths until you find them.
The absolute best time to go fishing in the fall is just prior to a major cold front. Crappie should be shallow, filling up their stomachs.
As the front passes, they will usually move back off the bank to deep water drop offs.
If they quit biting, using a minnow should be enough to trigger them back to biting.
Typically the cold temperatures don’t last long after a fall front. As the days warm, Crappie will move back shallow again.
Being out there on the water, fall color all around you, a little nip to the fall air, and there you are, hauling in a limit of crappie to stock your freezer until spring. That’s pretty hard to beat.
By Larry Whiteley, Host of the awardwinning Outdoor World Radio. For more tips go to basspro.com and click on 1Source News & Tips
Strategies September afternoons can be a great time to catch crappie. At this time of day, they begin to move to shallow areas to feed as the water cools.
Their bite will not be as aggressive in the fall as in the spring, so be sure and watch your line. As they get active and begin to chase bait, use small crankbaits.
Blakemore Road Runners or a white or chartreuse jig tipped with a chartreuse Berkley® crappie nibble are favorite baits among a lot of crappie anglers not only in September but throughout the year.
If you don’t find them in the shallow areas, try deep water around bridge pilings and wood docks or piers. These areas are usually covered with plankton, which attracts baitfish and thus crappie.
Depths of 15 to 20 feet in these areas would be best. If you see active bait, begin vertically jigging the area. The crappie will come up for the bait.
If you are trying to decide what bait to use in the fall for walleye, your best bait is to imitate their main prey, which are minnows. Crankbaits are great for this. Cast and retrieve a crankbait, or troll it behind the boat, but don’t let it move too fast.
Walleye are a little sluggish feeding in the fall as the water cools down. If walleye are suspended, cast or troll your crankbaits so they run at the same depth — or just above the depth — they are holding. If they are in shallow water, use a crankbait that dives a little deeper than the depth of water you’re fishing. This will cause the crankbait to root around, stirring up the bottom, and act in an erratic fashion as you retrieve it. This seems to stir the feeding instincts of walleye.
By Larry Whiteley
Fish the Shade for Hot Action
Shade is a great place for catching bass on hot August days.
When it gets hot, bass are no different than us. They're going to look for the coolest spot they can find. Sometimes that’s in deeper water or where spring-fed streams run into the lake, but it can also be in the shade cast by bridges, rock bluffs, trees, or boat docks.
Look for shaded areas, and then cast to them three or four times before moving on. You can cover a lot of water by doing this, plus your strikes-per-cast ratio will be better.
You can fish in the sun six inches out of a shadow and not take a hit. But sometimes, the moment you drop a lure into the middle of that same shade, a bass will attack it.
Small crankbaits can catch big bluegill, especially in the summer when they are aggressive and looking up for their meals.
This time of year, bluegill feed on crickets, grasshoppers, and other flying or crawling bugs that accidentally fall in the water from nearby trees and bushes. So that means they will also attack small baits that imitate those critters. The small baits should be cast near the trees and bushes where they are likely to fall in the water and then twitched or slowly wobbled across the top of the water to imitate a struggling insect.
Of course the real thing works well, too. Just run your hook through the back collar and cast it out with no weight so it floats on top. Leave slack in your line so the grasshopper, cricket, or crawling bug can kick around naturally, stirring up the water and those big gills.
Crankbaits can be deadly on all types of fish in late summer and early fall. They work on largemouth, smallmouth, striper, pike, white bass, crappie, walleye, and trout. Even catfish will strike these wobbling plugs that imitate shad, minnows, and crayfish.
Bounce your lure off rocks, logs, and stumps, creating a disturbance that draws fish. Cast right next to vegetation.
Also try shallow-running crankbaits so they run above the weeds. Locate suspended fish and then troll through the area.
Rig a shallow-running crankbait on a 3- to 4-foot leader with a 3-way swivel, then tie a jig on a 1- to 2-foot leader and work slow and steady with a stop and go retrieve.
When your crankbait hits underwater structure, reel fast to give it a sudden burst of speed so they think their prey is trying to escape, and they attack it.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Tips presents free, seasonal how-to tips from Larry Whiteley, host of the award-winning Outdoor World Radio show. Each weekly tip offers practical advice to improve your skills.
Tips offered for June include:
See the attached document for all of this month’s tips or visit http://www.basspro.com/ and click on 1Source New & Tips.
The last time I made the 60 mile trip to Geist to fish with Jacob, we never caught a bass, and the crappie were hardly much better. That was a sunny, calm prespawn trip, and as I made that drive again this morning, I was beginning to see shades of last year all over again. The rain/cloud chances had already disappeared, the winds were light and variable, blue skies - I was really expecting the worst in the way of a bite. To my surprise, and the reason you just never know unless you go, the bite was pretty darn good. Some clouds eventually rolled in on and off through the afternoon, and the breeze picked up enough to keep a good ripple on the water later, also. We only fished for a bit over 4 hours, but in that time frame we caught about 150-175 crappie, 3 dozen bluegill, another couple dozen yellow bass, about 24 largemouth, and one big arse carp. I can't complain.